Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tony Blair Not Leaving Middle East After All

Tony Blair Not Leaving Middle East After All

by Stephen Lendman

Despite resigning as Middle East envoy, he's maintaining his regional activities. They made him super-rich. It's anyone's guess how much wealth he amassed.

Greed drives him. He wants more. He's remaining active on regional affairs despite no formal role.

An overt racist, RT International reported he wants to be an Israeli/Arab bridge-builder - "drawing on relationships he has in the region."

He wants to build his considerable fortune to an even greater one. He wants his status as a world figure maintained. 

He strongly supports Israel and key regional Western allies - for sure not Palestinians and the Arab street overall.

He's an unindicted war criminal - complicit with US imperial aggression from Belgrade to Baghdad.

He made multi-millions supporting wrong over right. Blair, Inc. is a large enterprise - including hugely secretive offshore companies and trusts.

He parlayed his regional diplomatic role into a fortune. He abused the post he held. He plans continued abuse by sticking around.

His predecessor, James Wolfensohn, treated his responsibilities as a full-time job. Blair hardly showed up - a few times a month, if that. His remaining time was spent  making money.

He has his own consultancy firm - Tony Blair Associates in London. It's described as a secretive complex mix of companies. You’re known by the company you keep.

Blair advises regional despots, earns millions in speaking fees - millions more from New York-based JP Morgan Chase and Switzerland-based insurer Zurich International.

Stop the War UK lists Kuwait, the UAE, Kazakhstan, Albania, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Colombia, Brazil, and Mongolia as nation-state Blair clients. 

Egypt and Oman may be next. Other clients included the Democratic Republic of Congo and Serbia.

A former unnamed Blair, Inc. associate said "(h)e moves in mysterious ways. The Blair organization is like a sort of government with different departments doing different things."

"His office is run on Downing Street lines. It's like he's never not been PM." Before resigning as Middle East envoy, Council for Arab-British Understanding's Chris Doyle said:

"Tony Blair has to decide between his Quartet role as envoy to one of the most dangerous conflicts on the planet, his burgeoning media role in pushing for intervention in Iraq and Syria and his business interests across the globe including in the Middle East. These roles are incompatible and create a huge conflict of interest."

Blair is a crass opportunist parlaying his political background and contacts into lucrative business deals.

He established a post-Downing Street career working with disreputable clients - cashing in big.

On May 30, London's Independent asked if he stepped down as Middle East envoy "to spend even more time with his dictators?"

His only accomplishment was making money. His conflicts of interest are rife. He lives like royalty with a number of multi-million dollar properties - 31 in Britain and five abroad, according to The Independent.

"Secretive off-the-shelf companies called Windrush Ventures and Firerush Ventures" are central to Blair's corporate empire.

Years of investigation show he prostituted himself in pursuing Mammon, The Independent added.

Blair's world is complex, secretive, opaque, distasteful, immoral and perhaps illegal given the rogue cast of characters he cast his lot with.

"Political friends and foes alike are left cold with disgust," said The Independent.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Iran Nuclear Talks: Raising the Bar

Iran Nuclear Talks: Raising the Bar

by Stephen Lendman

On April 1, P5+1 countries and Iran agreed "in principle on all key aspects of a deal."

An article discussing the announcement said hold the cheers. It's a long way from preliminary to final agreement - especially with Washington involved, serving its own and Israeli interests.

It's longer still believing America will honor what it agrees to. Its sordid history suggests otherwise - breaching and/or reinterpreting one agreement and convention after another to suit its political agenda.

Washington's only rules are its own - made up based on geopolitical considerations and enforced belligerently.

P5+1 nations and Iran agreed on a June 30 deadline to consummate final deal terms.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif arrived in Geneva for continued talks - including with John Kerry.

Important disagreements remain. On Wednesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi said talks might extend beyond end of June.

"All issues are on the table in this round of talks, and we will work on them concurrently," he explained.

Washington raised the bar. It wants access to Iran's military sites. Days earlier, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said:

"If we don’t get the assurances we need on the access to possible military dimension-related sites or activities, that’s going to be a problem for us." 

"We and Iran have agreed that we will undertake a process to address possible military dimensions (of past nuclear work), and part of that includes access."

"Under the Additional Protocol... which Iran will implement and has said they will implement as part of this deal, the IAEA does get access."

"If we cannot agree in the final instance to something that meets our bottom line for what we need in terms of access, we’re not going to sign a final deal. And that’s just something we’ve been very, very clear about."

Her remarks followed Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei saying Iran won't allow military site inspections. Preliminary agreement terms make no such demand.

Following new US ones, Ayatollah Khamenei said "(t)hey are making new comments in the negotiations."

"Regarding the inspections, we have said that we will not allow foreigners to carry out inspections of any military sites."

"The enemies should know that the Iranian nation and officials will, by no means, give in to excessive demands and bullying."

In early May, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said "Iran will brook no excessive demands." 

"The agreed parameters are those confirmed by the two sides in Lausanne and these parameters need to be stipulated in a written agreement by Iran and the P5+1."

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Araqchi said "(i)nterviews with scientists and inspections of military centers are fully rejected, but talks continue within the framework of the procedures envisaged in the Additional Protocol."

It allows some access to military sites but not unrestricted inspections or interviews with Iranian scientists.

Araqchi explained discussions are continuing on how the Additional Protocol should be implemented. It permits snap nuclear site inspections - restricted access only to military ones when justified.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "France will not accept a deal if it is not clear that inspections can be done at all Iranian installations, including military sites."

Was he speaking for his government, Washington and/or Israel?

"Yes to an agreement, but not to an agreement that will enable Iran to have the atomic bomb. That is the position of France," he said.

In Geneva, Zarif said "(w)e will discuss the latest conditions of the negotiations, and we will decide how to proceed."

Last Month, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi said nothing in the Additional Protocol mandates non-nuclear inspections - only their "vicinities."

Everyone has their own interpretations, he added. Iran so far agreed to much more than it's gotten in return.

If Washington keeps raising the bar irresponsibly, perhaps no deal is possible. Iran justifiably won't relinquish its legitimate rights - nor should it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Relentless Putin Bashing

Relentless Putin Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

Washington and its echo chamber media attack Putin for asserting Russian sovereign independence and opposing America's imperial agenda.

Big Lies substitute for hard truths. On Thursday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke repeated the canard about "Russian forces…on the territory of a sovereign neighbor, Ukraine, where they are working with, allied with, aiding and fighting alongside separatists whom Russia also backs on sovereign Ukrainian territory."

At the same time, he ignored Kiev aggression, pretended its dirty war without mercy on Donbass is an "anti-terrorist operation," and stressed America's support for "what's been happening in eastern Ukraine remains unchanged."

He lied claiming "Russia continues to fuel the conflict in southeastern Ukraine, initiating attacks together with the separatists." 

"And we do know that the combined Russian and separatist forces continue to flout the terms of the February 12th Minsk implementation plan."

Truth is polar opposite. Washington continues supporting Kiev's naked aggression on Donbass.

Russia has done more than all other nations combined to resolve the conflict diplomatically.

It's forces aren't committing "naked aggression." They're not fighting alongside Donbass militias or supplying them with weapons and munitions.

Russia isn't fueling conflict. It's going all-out to stop it diplomatically. It fully complies with Minsk ceasefire terms. Kiev is a serial violator.

US scoundrel media bashing is relentless. On May 28, Wall Street Journal editors headlined "The Russians Are Coming, Again."

They irresponsibly blamed Moscow for repeated Kiev ceasefire breaches. The following reads like bad fiction:

"Russian proxies on Saturday shelled Avdiyivka, a town in eastern Ukraine held by the Kiev government, killing a Ukrainian service member and a civilian in an attack that also shut down a coke-manufacturing plant." 

"On Sunday pro-Kremlin forces fired on Ukrainian positions near the port of Mariupol, killing a Ukrainian soldier and wounding two."

"These are the latest in a growing series of Russian violations of the so-called Minsk II deal…"

Truth is polar opposite Journal editor Big Lies. Kiev is a serial aggressor, Russia a preeminent peacemaker.

Journal editors quoted an unnamed Western diplomat (likely a US neocon or UK counterpart) saying:

"The familiar pattern is recurring. Russia makes high-level assurances that it wants peace, and meanwhile stokes the violence on the ground with fighters and arms."

Ukrainian defense ministry advisor Alexey Makukhin lied claiming so-called documents showing 50 - 80 daily Russian ceasefire violations.

There are none in contrast to multiple daily blatant Kiev breaches - including willfully targeting civilian neighborhoods, murdering noncombatant men, women and children.

Journal editors ludicrously said "Russian special forces…are infiltrating Ukrainian territory." They cite two captured Russian nationals - civilians, not active duty soldiers.

They quoted from an Atlantic Council right-wing think tank propaganda report claiming nonexistent satellite imagery showing "Russian training camps stationed along the Ukrainian border are the staging ground for Russian military equipment transported into Ukraine, soon to join the separatist arsenal, and for Russian soldiers mobilized across Russian to cross into Ukraine."

Not a shred of evidence supports these baseless accusations. Plenty debunks it.

On May 29, New York Times editors gave notorious Putin basher/serial liar Masha Gessen feature op-ed space for at least the second time this year.

She a former Washington-controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director propagandist.

Her job is proliferating Big Lies - systematically avoiding hard truths, putting out rubbish no legitimate editors would touch.

New York Times editors featured her op-ed titled "The Kremlin vs. The NGOs.

She bashed Russia's July 2014 law requiring politically active NGOs getting funding from abroad to register as "foreign agents."

Religious organizations, state companies and NGOs they founded aren't affected by the new law.

Gessen ignored America's Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA, 1938). It requires agents or organizations representing the interests of foreign powers in a "political or quasi-political capacity" to disclose their relationship and provide information about their activities and financing.

The law remains in force, amended in 1966, focusing on agents or groups working with foreign power seeking economic or political advantage by influencing US decision-making.

Other countries have similar laws. Putin explained Russia's position saying:

"As far as the law is concerned, or rather the part of it that causes great discussions - whether the organizations that are engaged in internal political activities should register - we will not change this position."

"This is because when people are doing some political work inside the country and receive money from abroad, the society has the right to know what kind of organization this is, and where they get the funds to sponsor their existence."

Gessen also criticized Russia's "undesirable organizations" law - irresponsibly claiming it's "used to hit very hard what remained of civil society."

The measure justifiably only targets foreign organizations posing a "threat to the constitutional order and defense capability or the security of the Russian state" - in other words, subversive groups up to mischief.

Russian officials call the law preventative - without naming any specific foreign organizations.

Given Washington's longstanding hostility, Russia needs its national security protected - including legislatively.

Not according to Gessen, ignoring Russia's free society and open media shaming their Western counterparts.

Moscow "will not quit until it has vacuumed up every last bit of free thought and independent activity," she blustered.

On May 28, Washington Post editors discussed what they called opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza's "mysterious illness."

He collapsed in his office and was hospitalized. According to WaPo editors - suffering from "double pneumonia, pancreatitis and kidney failure."

They quoted his wife suggesting he was poisoned, claiming his condition remained grave.

The hospital's deputy head doctor later said his heart, lungs and stomach are OK. His illness was kidney related. "It could have been (caused by eating) spoiled yogurt or something else."

No evidence suggested poisoning. WaPo editors indicated otherwise claiming "crude attacks on peaceful opponents in a country that wishes to be, and often is, treated as a global power."

They used Kara-Murza's treatable illness unrelated to Russian politics as an example of "the truth about (its) murderous regime."

They ignored Washington's ongoing multiple direct and proxy wars on humanity responsible for millions of deaths and unspeakable human misery in the new millennium alone - besides homeland police repression and turning US streets into battlegrounds.

US policy toward Russia remains hardline - same old business as usual masquerading as new leaf softening when John Kerry and Victoria Nuland meet with Putin. Media propaganda alone explains Washington's dirty agenda. So do daily State Department press briefings.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Former Police State Leader/Wanted Man Appointed Ukrainian Governor

Former Police State Leader/Wanted Man Appointed Ukrainian Governor

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article called Ukraine a gangster state for good reason. It's a Nazi-infested regime run by illegitimate putschist thugs waging endless war on its own people.

Former Georgian president, US favorite, fugitive from justice Mikhail Saakashvili was appointed (not elected) Odessa regional governor.

Washington's orchestrated 2003 Georgian Rose Revolution elevated him to power. He established a ruthless, despotic, corrupt regime while maintaining close ties to US-dominated NATO and Israel.

He ruled by state terror, turning Georgia into a police state. Human and civil rights were suspended.

Opposition media were shut down. Political opponents were eliminated by arrests, imprisonments and suspicious deaths.

Saakashvili is a world-class thug. He's a US favorite. In Georgia, he's a wanted man. His assets were frozen by court order.

A previous article explained he faces corruption and other criminal charges. An international warrant was issued for his arrest. An Interpol Red Notice was served against him.

He'd been living comfortably in New York. In February, Poroshenko appointed him a non-staff advisor.

Despite a Ukraine/Georgia extradition agreement, he’s granted safe haven status in Kiev.

In August 2008, he was complicit with Washington in attacking South Ossetia. Russia was irresponsibly blamed for intervening to protect its own citizens - after hundreds were ruthlessly slaughtered.

A 2010 Independent Fact Finding Mission Report ruled Saakashvili responsible for naked aggression.

He's militantly anti-Russian. He fits right in with other Ukrainian thugs - fascist criminals by any standard.

Appointing him Odessa regional governor is like making an assassin police chief or a pyromaniac fire commissioner.

Saakashvili unsurprisingly supported 2014 Maidan coup d'etat thuggery installing Ukraine's current regime.

He was granted Ukrainian citizenship, a legal requirement for his new position. Via Twitter, he said he "loves Odessa."

On Saturday, Ukrainian state media said Poroshenko would introduce him as new Odessa Regional State Administration governor in the city.

He'll replace current incumbent businessman/MP Ihor Palytsia, appointed on May 6, 2014 - four days after last year's regime orchestrated Odessa massacre murdering hundreds of anti-fascists.

Saavashvili's appointment suggests perhaps Kiev wants increased state terror crackdowns in a city with a large Russian-speaking minority and anti-fascist spirit.

Regime opponents, democracy supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists are being targeted, arrested, brutalized and detained extrajudicially - on trumped up charges. 

Guilt by accusation is commonplace police state practice. Russian nationals are vulnerable for any reason or none at all.

Separately, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev for repeated ceasefire violations, saying:

"I think that by now all the major Western states that follow the situation and possess facts, understand very clearly that, for a number of reasons, the Ukrainian authorities are the major obstacle on the way to the fulfillment of the Minsk agreements."

On Thursday, Donetsk People's Republic Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko affirmed DPR's right to respond to Kiev provocations appropriately, saying:

"As regards the shelling of Gorlovka, once again, the Ukrainian side showed that it wouldn’t carry out the peace agreement. They prefer to violate it blatantly." 

"Thus, Poroshenko’s signature on the Minsk-2 agreement was nothing but a deliberate deception, not only against us, but also against his country and the rest of the world." 

"Until now, the DPR has plainly fulfilled all its obligations. However, we reserve the right to act at our own discretion."

One Kiev provocation too many may instigate resumed full-scale war. Deceptive rhetoric aside, Washington won't tolerate peace and stability in Donbass.

Obama didn't wage proxy war to quit. More than daily Kiev shelling remains ongoing. Fort Russ reported on "a raging special ops war" ignored by Western media.

Are covert US special forces and/or Blackwater-type paramilitaries involved? Fort Russ said Georgian US School of the Americas graduates "are swarming in Donbass." 

Polish soldiers are involved. US special forces are training Ukrainian troops in Mariupol - about 70 miles south of Donetsk.

Donbass military intelligence reported 19 subversive groups operating in the region  - "formed from the commandos arrived from beyond the borders of Ukraine," a clear indication of endless overt and covert war.

On May 22, Lugansk residents observed "suspicious…armed men in camouflage calling themselves militias," said Fort Russ.

They attacked an Interior Ministry response team. Some of the "strangers" were killed. One captured individual wore a Western-style camouflaged uniform, a mask and had a list of unidentified phone numbers.

On May 23 in Donetsk, small arms fire targeted a Joint Center for Control and Coordination (SCCC) car. Its Russian office head and other officers were traveling in it at the time. The attack was foiled.

On the same day, noted anti-regime Ghost Brigade commander Alexey Mozgovoy, his spokeswoman and two bodyguards were ambushed and killed.

His significant loss will be made up for by others taking his place. Donbass' liberating struggle is important.

Courageous self-defense forces intend doing what it takes to stay free. Putin said he won't let Donbass be destroyed. 

He's gone all-out to resolve things diplomatically - so far without success because of US obstructionism and rage for war. 

Expect endless fighting ahead. It's the American way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Palestinian Bid to Expel Israel from FIFA Dropped

Palestinian Bid to Expel Israel from FIFA Dropped

by Stephen Lendman

At the 11th hour, Palestinian Football Association president Jibril Rajoub dropped a bid to expel Israel from FIFA shortly before it was to be voted on.

Israeli abuses against Palestinian footballers are longstanding - including harassment, travel restrictions, assaults, arrests and at times killings.

Competitive sports of any kind should refuse inclusion of rogue regimes like Israel guilty of every imaginable high crime - including racist abuse of Palestinian athletes for praying to the wrong God.

Instead of banishing Israel straightaway, FIFA outrageously proposed forming a committee to monitor whether Palestinian footballers have free movement, Israeli racism, and status of Israeli league teams based in illegal settlements.

Reelected FIFA president Sepp Blatter opposed ousting Israel. Instead of condemning its lawlessness, he absurdly said "(t)hose that have more will share with those who have less." 

"In this case, it is up to Israel to share a little bit more with Palestine." Israel is a racist police state. It shares nothing. It's all take and no give. 

Rajoub takes orders from Abbas and other corrupt PA officials - longstanding Israeli collaborators, saying one thing publicly, doing another when it matters most.

Rajoub lied saying "Palestine has not withdrawn its application completely, but merely suspended it."

When the chips were down, he folded. It didn't surprise. Abbas notoriously betrays Palestinians for special benefits he derives. His rhetoric belies his policies.

Rajoub was unconvincing saying "(a) lot of colleagues, whom I respect and whose commitment to the ethics and values of the game I appreciate, told me how painful it is to hear of the issue of suspension."

"But I want to protect the Palestinian footballers, to let them enjoy the privilege of the game as others do."

"I think it's time to raise the red card against racism and humiliation in Palestine and everywhere. It is time."

Not when meaningless rhetoric substitutes for resoluteness - an attribute corrupt PA officials lack. Why they submitted an Israeli expulsion bid in the first place they'll have to explain - likely knowing they'd fold under pressure.

Two female protesters interrupted Blatter's Friday address shouting "Israel out." Security guards removed them.

Rajoub submitted Palestine's bid months earlier. He pretended to be firm all along.

Days earlier he said "(o)ur requests are clear, just and fair: Freedom of movement, end of racism and expulsion of all teams from illegal Israeli settlements in Occupied Palestine competing in the Israeli league."

Racist abuse of Palestinian footballers is longstanding Israeli policy. Archbishop Desmond Tutu once called it "shocking that (European football's governing body - UEFA) shows total insensitivity to the blatant and entrenched discrimination inflicted on Palestinian sportsmen and women by Israel."

Its abuse of Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak undermined a promising career. In 2009, Israeli security thugs arrested him for trying to cross from Gaza to the West Bank to participate in a match - his legitimate right.

He was horrifically abused, lawlessly kept in administrative detention for three years uncharged. His lawyers were denied access to fabricated evidence against him.

He was guilty of the crime of football - freed in summer 2012 after a 92 day hunger strike. Israel ruthlessly targets other Palestinian footballers like Sarsak. 

Netanyahu commented on Friday's developments saying the outcome "proved our international efforts paid off and brought about the failure of the Palestinian Authority's attempt to expel us from FIFA…"

Israeli bullying and extreme pressure are notorious along with supportive likeminded tactics from Washington.

Palestinians stood little chance of getting Israel ousted or suspended. America and other Western rogue states won't tolerate it.

Occupation harshness persists. Abusing Palestinian footballers gives new meaning to the term "foul."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Ukraine: Gangster State

Ukraine: Gangster State

by Stephen Lendman

Washington allies with the world's most despotic regimes. Ukraine is one of the worst.

Fascists in charge are guilty of most every high crime imaginable - committed with full US support and encouragement.

They continue waging dirty war without mercy on Donbass. They attack civilian neighborhoods - murdering noncombatant men, women and children, torturing prisoners, committing atrocities too grave to ignore. 

They used chemical weapons - last May and perhaps other times. A toxic choking agent was used. 

Symptoms included first-degree chemical-inflicted eye burns, alcoholic-like intoxication, bodily lacerations and fainting, as well as one or more victims diagnosed with unidentified gas poisoning.

White phosphorous and other chemical weapons were used. So were illegal cluster bombs - supplied by Washington.

On May 29, Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin warned about Kiev possibly readying to use chemical weapons again.

"(W)orks are underway on the territory of a chlorine storage base, to the northeast of Kochetok settlement in the Kharkov region," he said.

"A week ago, our intelligence saw 20 truck tanks with a capacity of five tons with an unknown chemical agent arrived at the facility’s territory."

On May 26, US military chemical experts arrived in Mariupol, he explained. Perhaps they along with "Kiev authorities (intend) sabotage on Ukraine's territory with the aim of accusing DPR leadership of the crime against humanity" - a possible false flag.

Since Kiev forces launched naked aggression on Donbass last April, they committed horrendous crimes of war and against humanity. So far unaccountably.

Russian parliamentarians proposed establishing a war crimes tribunal since US-led Western nations prevent ICC prosecutions.

Lower house State Duma Education Committee Chairman Vyacheslav Nikonov urged not letting war criminals go unpunished.

"I believe we already need to create our own tribunal for war crimes," he said. "In the name of those children, the elderly and women, both Ukrainians and Russians, we will never forget and forgive."

"Can there be any hope for those countries that are simultaneously the sponsors and masters of puppets of both the Hague tribunal and the regime of war criminals (in Kiev)?"

"Every day hundreds of people disappear without leaving a trace across Ukraine because they are suspected of being disloyal, and this continues even now and they are being killed with no trial and no record, and they are being tortured."

Separately, Minsk II terms mandated immediate and comprehensive ceasefire, withdrawal of all heavy weapons beyond a 50 km wide security zone, dialogue between both sides, full resumption of socio-economic ties and Ukrainian constitutional reform, among other provisions.

Kiev violated everything it agreed to - most provisions straightaway. On Thursday, Poroshenko said he'll dialogue only with a Ukrainian Donbass, not its current one - a clear Minsk II breach.

Illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he'd only talk to current Donbass leaders "when they are behind bars."

Ukraine is a criminal coup d'etat gangster state masquerading as legitimate governance. It's a Nazi-infested fascist police state. 

It's a lawless belligerent one. It's a major human and civil rights violator. It's a kleptocracy run by mega-thieves complicit with corporate ones - hugely corrupt, profiting at the public's expense.

Economist Michael Hudson calls its regime "an umbrella for grabitization." Ukrainians lucky to have jobs aren't getting paid - or get sub-poverty wages impossible to live on.

"(K)leptocrats and business owners are jumping ship," says Hudson - grabbing all they can before it sinks.

The 1973 Pinochet coup in Chile followed by invasion of the Chicago boys "was a dress rehearsal for all this," Hudson explains.

Chicago-style free market predation is impossible with force-fed tyranny. Ukraine is the new poster child.

Obama's friends are gangsters, murderers, torturers, rapists and mega-thieves. Poroshenko is an illegitimate oligarch mega-crook - heading a regime with no legitimacy whatever.

Apparently he thinks he's entitled to the Nobel Peace Prize - instead of a prison cell where he belongs.

Mussolini (1935), Hitler (1939 at the start of WW II) and Stalin (1945 and 1948) got Nobel nominations. Peace champions are consistently shunned.

A May 19 letter from Ukraine's parliament chairman Volodymyr Groysman to US Norway embassy charge d'affairs Julie Furuta-Toy calls it "of utmost importance for Mr. Poroshenko to have firm guarantees that he will be awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, since it could highlight the unanimous support of Ukrainian integrity by the democratic community of the world."

If Nobel Committee members go along this October, they'll make more of a sham out the award than already. Don't be surprised if it happens anyway.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

Israel's War on Palestinian Fishermen, Farmers and Children

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli viciousness has no limits. Palestinians are systematically brutalized for not being Jewish.

They're harassed, intimidated, persecuted, arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered in cold blood. High crimes too grave to ignore have been commonplace since Israel's so-called war of independence.

At the time, 78% of historic Palestine was stolen for exclusive Jewish development. Israel took the rest in June 1967, including East Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem is an international city under a UN protectorate. Israeli claims to the city have no legitimacy. Nor does any nation have the right to breach international laws, norms and standards.

Israel does multiple times daily with impunity. Little reported war on Palestine continues daily.

Attacks on nonthreatening Palestinian fishermen occur almost daily. They're shot at, wounded and arrested.

Their boats and fishing gear are damaged and/or confiscated. The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) calls Israel's policy of preventing Palestinian fishermen from pursuing their livelihoods "a form of collective punishment which is prohibited (under) international humanitarian law and international human rights law."

PCHR described one early May incident as follows:

"Israeli gunboats stationed off al-Waha shore, northwest of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip, opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats sailing within less than one nautical mile from the beach."  

"An Israeli gunboat approached a fishing boat belonging to 'Issa Nafez Abu Riyalah and Ra'ed Sa'id al-'Ashi, both from al-Shati' refugee camp in Gaza City."  

"The fishing boat was boarded by Mohammed No'man Rabi'a al-Sultan (23) and Hatem al-'Abed 'Ashour al-Sultan (29). Both are from al-Salatin neighborhood in Beit Lahia."  

"The Israeli naval soldiers forced the fishermen to jump into the water and swim towards the Israeli gunboat. The Israeli soldiers then arrested the two fishermen and confiscated their boat." 

"As a result of this attack, 17 pieces of fishing nets were lost." The area where the incident occurred experienced "heavy (Israeli) shooting" at Palestinian fishermen.

On Saturday, Maan News reported Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen off central Gaza's coast. They followed other earlier in the week attacks.

Separately on Saturday, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers in eastern Khan Younis. According to Maan News:

"Saturday's events come as Israeli forces have escalated attacks against Gazan Palestinians inside of the Israeli-implemented and controlled buffer zone." 

"Gaza-based Israeli watchdog Al Mezan (Center for Human Rights) documented Israeli forces opening fire in the border areas six separate times during the first ten days of May, leaving four injured including one child."

Al Mezan "reiterate(d) its calls on the international community to promptly intervene in order to halt Israel's violations."

Gaza is occupied Palestinian territory. It's lawlessly blockaded - for political, not security reasons. World leaders do nothing to enforce fundamental international law.

They let Israel operate lawlessly - including committing mass slaughter and destruction at its discretion against Palestinians posing no threat.

The post-Operation Protective Edge ceasefire agreement extended Gaza's fishing zone from three to six nautical miles offshore immediately - expanded to 12 nautical miles by yearend 2014.

Israel reneged on its pledge straightaway. Palestinian fishermen are vulnerable anywhere offshore. Some are shot and killed for the crime of fishing.

Israeli security forces and settlers attack Palestinian farmers with impunity. They're shot at and physically assaulted. Their crops are destroyed.

According to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), about 800,000 olive trees have been lawlessly uprooted since June 1967. 

Palestinian homes, cars and other property are vandalized. Livestock are killed. Water wells are poisoned. 

Mosques are defaced and/or burned. Children are attacked - including going to and from school, at play and in fields helping their parents.

Settler attacks on Palestinians and their property occur almost daily on average.

A new Yesh Din Volunteers for Human Rights report titled Mock Enforcement "reveal(ed) a worrying picture regarding the conduct of the law enforcement system in general, and (Israeli) police in particular…"

Investigations are routinely whitewashed. Chances for prosecuting and convicting Jews committing crimes against Palestinians "is just 1.9%."

Palestinian rights are systematically violated. Crimes committed against them go unpunished - including cold-blooded murder.

Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) called Israel's summer 2014 Operation Protective Edge "a war waged on Gaza's children.

DCIP verified 547 Palestinian children killed - two-thirds aged 12 or younger.

DCIP general director Khaled Quzmar blasted Israel for its repeated wars on Palestine and "complete disregard for international law…" 

"(A)ny meaningful efforts toward implementing comprehensive protections for Palestinian children" are thwarted.

They're deliberately and maliciously targeted as enemies despite posing no threat whatever.

Clear evidence showed Israel targeted schools, private neighborhood residences and children in streets.

On one day alone, Israeli forces murdered 59 Palestinian children. Dozens of entire families were massacred in cold blood.

"More than 1,000 (Palestinian) children suffered injuries that rendered them permanently disabled" for life - according to OCHA.

Amputees like Mohammad Baroud, aged 12, lost both his feet. He'll require medical care and support for the rest of his life.

Many Gazan children lost one or both parents. The emotional scars are "severe and resounding," said DCIP.

Israel is a brutal occupying power - ruthless child killers mass murdering with impunity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Scoundrel Media FIFA Bashing

Scoundrel Media FIFA Bashing

by Stephen Lendman

Amateur and professional sports are big business. It's no surprise they're rife with corruption. With billions of dollars at stake, anything goes, most often unaccountably.

Organized crime is involved. Crooked deals take place behind closed doors. 

Corruption has many forms - including bribes, kickbacks, rigged construction bids, money laundering, front companies, exploitation of amateur athletes, and lots more.

Big-time US college sports are notoriously corrupt. Runaway commercialism is pervasive. Schools sell their souls for lucrative advertiser sponsorships, television contracts, ticket, concession and merchandise sales, licensing fees and other revenue sources.

Young student athletes are exploited - used, unpaid, mostly uneducated, and unprepared for life after school except for a tiny percentage able to play professionally for pay.

America's National Football League is a multi-billion dollar industry able to get away with virtually anything. Like banks too big to fail, the NFL is too popular to have its serious abuses addressed and changed.

Concern for player safety is more rhetoric than practice. Powerful bodies smashing into each other is like experiencing car crashes at times. 

Playing too many games with too little recovery time in between leaves most athletes with permanent lifetime disabilities when retire - often after a few years or less because of broken bodies, including head trauma from frequent concussions.

This writer knew a former Philadelphia Eagle lineman years ago. He was "wracked up" in less than one professional year, partly disabled, operating a small used car lot for income.

Any business as big as NFL football is rife with the same kind of corruption tainting other sports - amateur and professional, including getting taxpayers to pay for hugely expensive stadiums, a clear example of grand theft.

FIFA corruption is longstanding. It's in the eye of the storm - but not because of unsavory practices, legal or illegal.

If America's Justice Department wanted to clean up sports, professional and amateur, it would start at home. Instead it targeted FIFA extrajudicially. Two other articles explained - here and here.

Indictments against 14 current and former FIFA officials were made for political reasons, not criminality.

America's media scoundrels reacted as expected - ignoring huge wrongdoing at home, piling on the political offensive against FIFA.

"FIFA's Corruption Stains World Soccer," headlined New York Times editors. Ever hear them take on bankster high crimes, other corporate crooks, or a mega-corrupt predatory capitalist system benefitting elite few hugely at the expense of most others.

Instead they bashed FIFA awarding World Cup host city honors to Russia and Qatar in 2018 and 2022 respectively. They called them "puzzling…immediately rais(ing) suspicion of foul play when announced in December 2010."

They cited social media "consensus (that the) arrests (were) long overdue." They ignored Washington's Justice Department indicting foreign nationals extrajudicially.

They're not US citizens. They don't live in America. DOJ has no legal authority to target them. Don't expect Times editors to explain.

They overstepped calling for "the immediate ouster of Mr. Blatter and the restructuring of FIFA." They urged reconsideration of awarding Russia and Qatar host city honors.

Ever hear them call for "the immediate ouster" of Wall Street mega-crook CEO's? Or demand hugely corrupt US college and professional sports be cleaned up - including prosecuting culpable officials?

Washington Post editors piled on FIFA like their Times counterparts - headlining "FIFA's ugly stains on the beautiful game."

They praised Attorney General Loretta Lynch's lawless indictments. They bashed "FIFA's choice of Vladimir Putin's increasingly aggressive and repressive Russia over" Western nations. And Qatar over America, Australia and a joint Japanese/South Korean bid.

They largely pronounced FIFA officials guilty by accusation - saying "many presumed (their involvement in) bribery…"

They want host nation awards to Russia and Qatar rescinded. Reopen the bidding they said. Imagine their outrage if outsiders demanded new choices to run WaPo.

Wall Street Journal editors called DOJ indictments the "least surprising (ones) ever."

They claimed they're OK because FIFA officials have occasional meetings in America.

US transnational corporate executives have meetings in many countries worldwide. It doesn't grant authorities in those nations the right to indict and arrest them unless crimes were committed in their territory.

America operates by its own rules. "Kudos to the Justice Department and new Attorney General Loretta Lynch," said Journal editors.

Would they applaud with equal vigor the arrests, indictments and detentions of Wall Street mega-crooks? Would they demand they be held fully responsible for decades of grand theft?

Would they insist banks too big to fail be broken up - or better still closed down entirely? Would they call for putting an end to Wall Street fleecing America? 

Would they demand capital's divine right no longer be tolerated? Would they endorse people empowerment over profits?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ukraine Threatens Total Blockade on Donbass

Ukraine Threatens Total Blockade on Donbass

by Stephen Lendman

Kiev junta officials violated virtually all Minsk II ceasefire terms straightaway. An immediate ceasefire was agreed on. 

Junta forces attack Donbass areas daily. Civilian neighborhoods are deliberately targeted. 

Washington pretends to know nothing about what's happening in official statements or outrageously blames Donbass freedom fighters for Kiev high crimes.

All heavy weapons were to be repositioned well behind the contact line to create a minimum 50 km security zone. Kiev refused to comply.

Numerous other provisions continue being systematically ignored - including providing safe access, delivery, storage and distribution of humanitarian aid to needy Donbass residents.

On May 28, Ukraine's interior minister Arsen Avakov called for a full Donbass blockade - isolating it from other regions.

"We'll have to fully close the line of contact (separating both sides) to close it for everything," he said.

"Let's shut the contact line. Let them cross it on foot or in small cars but without any goods…(L)et them get everything from Russia."

"You wanted independence and friendship with Russia? You're welcome. Russia is right across the border."

"Or do you want to live by the Ukrainian laws because you are Ukrainian? OK, we have the Minsk accords, here you are." 

"Our border guards will take control over the border, and then we'll clear out everything ourselves."

Blockading Donbass is an act of war - on top of continuing daily Kiev aggression.

At the same time, Kiev's illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko threatened martial law. He's more lunatic than leader.

His forces continue low-level aggression. He blames Donbass freedom fighters for his crimes.

"My key position (is) if the ceasefire is broken now, if the line of confrontation is crossed, if an advance against the Ukrainian armed forces is organized, at that very moment I will sign the decree on introducing martial law and pass it to parliament" for rubber-stamping, he said.

"I have no doubt that within hours, martial law will be enacted." It will "demonstrate (Ukraine's) readiness for war, for victory, for defense and for peace," he blustered.

Foreign country nationals residing in Ukraine will be extrajudicially detained, imprisoned or forcibly relocated if he claims their nation of origin "threatens or undertakes aggression toward Ukraine" - true or false.

Their property will be confiscated. Total media control will be strictly enforced. Opposition parties will be banned. So will rallies, mass gatherings and protests.

Ukraine is Obama's war. Junta authorities are convenient proxies - waging naked aggression on their own people, intending escalated conflict, persecuting, imprisoning or murdering anyone opposing their agenda.

According the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians sought refuge in neighboring countries - mainly Russia. 

Thousands more leave daily. UNHCR official William Spindler said things are getting worse. The number of internally and externally displaced Ukrainians exceeds two million.

Many endure trying conditions. Russia helps most of all - setting up refugee centers, providing shelter, food, water, medical services and education. 

Obama bears full responsibility for proxy naked aggression, letting junta forces, Nazi-infested brigades and imported paramilitaries do his dirty work - another major crime on his rap sheet, so many it's hard keeping track.

Official numbers killed or wounded way undercount actual casualties - tens of thousands at minimum.

"The situation is very serious, very worrying. This is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today," said Spindler.

Humanitarian aid falls way short of what's needed. Russia alone continues extraordinary efforts to help - delivering many thousands of tons of vitally needed food, water, medical supplies and other essentials to Donbass residents.

America supplies nothing. Obama wants maximum pain and suffering inflicted - the same strategy in all US direct and proxy wars of aggression, dirty ones without mercy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Racist Wendy Sherman Leaving State Department

Racist Wendy Sherman Leaving State Department

by Stephen Lendman

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs/chief US Iranian nuclear talks negotiator Wendy Sherman said she's leaving State shortly after the June 30 deadline for an agreement.

"It's been two long years," she explained. John Kerry commented saying "Wendy has been an absolutely critical member of my team, most notably in her work spearing the nuclear negotiations with Iran, but on every important issue that has crossed my desk."

Obama said he "long counted on Wendy's…intellect, toughness and persistence which have made her one of the most effective diplomats of her generation."

She's No. 3 at State, close to Hillary Clinton, and may have in mind a top position in her administration if she's elected president next year.

Sherman admitted US opposition to normalizing relations with Iran - saying efforts to do it will take years to play out.

In October 2013 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, she demonized Iran saying "(w)e know that deception is part of (its) DNA."

It wasn't the first time she made racist statements about the Islamic Republic. Besides saying "sanctions we have in place should not disappear anytime soon, unless all of our concerns are addressed by the Iranians."

The whole world knows Iran's nuclear program is peaceful with no military component. Annual US intelligence assessments and Mossad say so.

If Sherman or another US official accused Israel, America's NATO partners, or Middle East Arab allies of deception, they'd be summarily banished from government service and denied lucrative private sector employment.

Vilifying independent governments irresponsibly is longstanding US policy.

Iran complies fully with Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. 

Sherman lied claiming its Article IV doesn't let Tehran pursue development of fuel-cycle capabilities, including uranium enrichment, under international safeguards.

Article IV states:

"(N)othing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."

Iran has as much right as other NPT signatories. BRICS countries Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as well as 120 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members affirm Iran's right to pursue safeguarded enrichment.

America, Britain, France and Israel alone object. The Jewish state is a longstanding nuclear outlaw.

Sherman lied further claiming "(i)t has always been the US position that Article IV of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty does not speak about the right of enrichment at all (and) doesn't speak to enrichment, period."

False! Earlier US policy affirmed the right to peaceful nuclear development. Doing so included indigenous development of safeguarded fuel-cycle capabilities.

In 1968, US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency head, William Foster, told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members:

"Neither uranium enrichment nor the stockpiling of fissionable material in connection with a peaceful program would violate Article II so long as these activities were safeguarded under Article III."

Article II commits non-nuclear weapons states not to pursue their development. Article III requires they accept safeguards on their nuclear activities.

Throughout her time as chief nuclear negotiator, Sherman maintained longstanding US distrust and hostility toward Iran.

Despite its major concessions after many months of talks, it's unclear if a final deal is possible.

Iran insists on ending all illegal sanctions as fundamental for reaching agreement - on the day it's implemented. It calls it the "principle of simultaneity."

Washington insists on gradual lifting able to drag things out indefinitely without providing Iran the relief it deserves.

Talks continue in Geneva. On May 30, John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will again meet for further discussions.

Whether a final deal can be reached remains to be seen. Of greatest concern is whether Washington would honor one. 

It's history of agreement violations is notorious. Given 36 years of hostility and extreme anti-Iranian Israeli pressure (including from its Lobby), it hard imagining a new dawn in bilateral US/Tehran relations.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.